Ohio AgrAbility Project's peer-to-peer program was in full swing again when a member and his friend were able to help a younger member with a diagnosis of ADHD. The member has worked with the young gentleman on his farm, teaching him how to care for sheep and to help in the day-to-day operations of his farm. The experience has given the younger member a sense of pride and accomplishment that his elementary education was struggling to fulfill. The older member, due to his limitations, has developed a mentoring program with local youth to teach them the operations of his farm and to give them a job in exchange for helping him. The younger member's father also helped on the farm as a youth. The young member was struggling with his schoolwork, losing the desire to go to school and almost failing all of his classes last year. As a part of the peer-to-peer relationship the two had developed, the older member's friend, a retired schoolteacher, offered with the approval of his parents, to tutor the young gentleman. As a result of the peer-to-peer relationship and the young gentleman's commitment to his schoolwork he was able to make the "A" Honor Roll at his school and have almost perfect attendance this year.
Ohio AgrAbility Project completed another year of working with University of Dayton first year engineering students on a project to develop assistive technology tools or equipment to help farmers with disabilities. This semester's class of seven teams did an excellent job of thinking through the issues a disabled farmer faces on a daily basis. The project requires them to design and build a working model of the tool or piece of equipment they have selected to help the farmers on a budget of $50. This semester's projects ranged from a computerized system to help developmentally challenged individuals feed livestock, a rolling chair to help arthritis victims in the garden, to a ramp system to help wheelchair-bound individuals get onto a UTV. All of the teams did an excellent job of designing and thinking through their projects and building a working model.
Submitted by Andy Bauer